Now Showing: A New England Barn Model!

Posted on Jul 12, 2013


Last winter the NBA was contacted by Tom Musco, a fellow barn-enthusiast and timber framer who was interested in making a barn model that embodied building traditions of New England barns.  Past President, Charles Leik, corresponded regularly with Musco, and members of the Board met this crafty go-getter at the CT Trust’s “Celebration of Barns” last month, just as he was booking the model’s first raisings.

Supplying every bit of the materials, time, and skill involved in construction, Musco based his model on typical English barn dimensions (30’ x 40’) found in the region.  “The model is also based on the research I did when I built the Job Lane barn in Bedford, MA…. a scaled-down reproduction of the barn that was on the site of the Job Lane Homestead.  The original [c. early 1700s] house is still standing and the Town of Bedford and the Friends of the Job Lane House wanted a barn for the house.”


Tom Musco is a jack of all trades, but has a great deal of experience in timber-frame construction.  When he read about the NBA’s Teamwork & Timbers program, Musco was inspired to create a model to reflect historic New England barns, “…being the husband of a school principal and someone who home-schooled his two children, [I] wanted kids in New England to have the fun of raising a barn frame.” And he has certainly been putting his model to good use!  This summer, Musco has booked a handful of barn raisings, teaching children and adults alike about the region’s rural icons. “What makes the English barn unique and gives it its name is the English Tying Joint at the top of the posts.  This style barn was in use since about 1200 in England and was brought to New England by the English settlers. It was built in New England until the 1850s.”

Tom Musco and his team will be raising the model at the Royalston town library in Royalston, MA, on July 18th, and again at the Timber Framers Guild conference in Burlington, VT, on August 10th.


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